They also appear to be endowed with the ability to guess; You contact us when we are most concerned with the electricity bill, the prices of the shopping cart, inflation or when they are waiting for an important package.
Are cybercriminals some kind of psychologist or sociologist? Probably not, but they know very well how human needs work and how Anxiety and stress occur when these needs are threatenedaffect our decision making.
For this reason, times of uncertainty like the present are the perfect raw material for new forms of digital fraud, and we need to be more vigilant than ever. Emotions cloud reason and to the extent that we all have wants and needs, we are vulnerable.
Maslow and human needs
Abraham Maslow (1908-1970) is considered the father of humanistic psychology, whose main premise is that all human beings have an intense desire to fulfill their potential, to achieve a level of self-actualization, to be in harmony with themselves and with their environment. In short, rest.
Theoretically lPeople move and act to meet a range of needs, which are ordered hierarchically, from the simplest to the most transcendental. Only when the base is satisfied can we turn to the higher needs of self-actualization (unless we are ascetics).
Cyber criminals are extremely good at identifying needs and concerns at each level of the pyramid., always according to the time. Here we show you a variety of digital scams ranked by necessity so that each reader, whichever one they feel more identified with, spot the warning signs:
- basic needs: roof, food, heat, sleep.
Price uncertainty leaves us at the mercy of callers who say the price of electricity is going up, then call us to tell us about another company offering us a significant discount…don’t know who to trust and that is the best option: we say thank you, we say we will think about it and get in touch with the company. If you’re getting nervous… we can rest assured that we’ve gotten rid of a scam attempt.
- security needs: protection from external influences, security, order, stability, work, elimination of risks or fears.
Job offers that miraculously arrive via SMS or WhatsApp, messages from the tax authority that give us joy (and breath) that they are giving us money back this year … too good to be true. And that’s the key, if it sounds too good it’s best not to trust
- Needs for belonging and affection: Friendship, intimacy, trust and acceptance, receiving and giving affection and love. Affiliate, being part of a group (family, friends, work).
There is one phenomenon that has gained strength during confinement due to social isolation and lack of affection and that is dating app scams. These scams have evolved and taken on many faces.
But it’s not the only form of affection cheating. Suddenly, a distant relative shows up, surprisingly arriving to join the family whose suitcases were being held at the airport for not paying taxes, or that friend we haven’t seen in so long and says, “Don’t you remember more to me? ????… the bad guys get creative, bordering on soap opera scripts.
- need self-esteem: which Maslow divided into two categories: (i) self-esteem (dignity, achievement, mastery, independence) and (ii) the need to be accepted and valued by others (e.g. status, prestige).
The relationship between cheating/vulnerability and self-esteem is close. And digital reality has added even more complexity. There is research showing how digital purchases are related to self-esteem and hedonism. Statistics, for their part, show that “e-commerce” in Spain will grow by 17% in 2022, almost double that of the EU. With this breeding ground, it’s no surprise that packages have become the sector of choice for conducting “phishing” attacks.
Instagram is another self-esteem or prestige catalyst. If we have a personal account or a professional account for our project or company, the scams on Instagram are enough for a whole article.
- needs for self-actualization: Knowledge and understanding, curiosity, exploration, realization of personal potential, personal growth or what Maslow calls peak experiences.
Creativity spreads its wings at these levels: scams more related to cryptocurrencies, NFTs, investors, etc., a more select audience, but not without risk, are on the rise.
Our weakness is our strength: Social Shield against social engineering
In times of crisis, maintaining our safety and that of our loved ones is vital. If you found this article interesting, tell someone about it; Perhaps we know someone in our circle who is going through a hole and whose needs make them more vulnerable to one of these scammers. We have to protect each other. If you get a message that makes you suspicious, having a close friend check it out or telling the caller you’ll be speaking to a family member and calling them back will give you just enough time for the bad guys to make up their minds to leave. .